Curaleaf’s regional representatives for the northeast discuss challenges for the cannabis industry


Speaking at an event hosted by the Hartford Business Journal in Farmington this week, Patrik Jonsson, Regional President of Curaleaf for the North East

Talk about the challenges facing the cannabis industry, including the already well-known lack of banking access for cannabis companies.

“When we started [in Massachussetts], we opened an account with Bank of America, it took us probably about two months, and that account was closed, and they withheld our money for quite a while, ”Jonsson said.

Regardless of the fact that many states now have some form of legalized cannabis, its status under the Controlled Substances Act means that marijuana companies cannot deduct standard business expenses, as stated in Section 280E of the law. .

Last September, the House of Representatives passed an amendment that would allow banks to do business with cannabis companies without being penalized by federal regulators. It was the fifth time in recent years that the House had passed cannabis banking reform.

The measure, approved by voice vote, enshrining it in a large-scale defense spending bill. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has insisted on passing full justice-focused marijuana legalization first, arguing that passing the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) banking law could affect support for a broader reform.

Jonsson went from banking to immovable, saying it could also be a difficult process. He noted that some homeowners with bank mortgages cannot lease to companies that manufacture or sell what is still considered a “federally illegal drug,” while some municipalities prohibit or impose a moratorium on the industry.

In reference to Connecticut especially Jonsson advised potential companies to wait for certain aspects of the market to mature before establishing themselves.

Last month interviewed Jonsson on the possibility of supplying cannabis in the Garden State, where its use by adults was legalized in November 2020.

Jonsson said Curaleaf only needs around 25-35% of its current growth sites to supply the medical market, while other alternative treatment centers are in similar positions. However, alternative treatment centers must pay up to $ 1 million to convert their licenses so that they can serve both patients and the public..

Again, the regulations and the entrance fee prevent small businesses from participating in the sector.

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Pablo Zuanic highlighted this fact in the context of small-scale cannabis operators at risk of being hampered by issues related to the regulatory landscape, such as access to the capital market, high borrowing costs, and restrictive licensing systems.

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